What is Dryland Farming?
Dryland Farming alludes to the cultivation of crops completely beneath natural precipitation without a water system. It is a form of subsistence cultivating within the districts where the shortfall of the soil dampness impedes the development of water expending crops like rice (Oryza sativa), sugarcane, etc. Dryland regions are characterized by low and sporadic precipitation and no guaranteed water system facilities. Dryland horticulture is imperative for the economy as most of the coarse grain crops, beats, oilseeds, and crude cotton are developed on these lands. Dryland ranges get precipitation between 500 and 1200 mm.
Types of Dryland Agriculture
Depending on the sum of precipitation received, dryland farming has been assembled into three categories:
1) Dry cultivating
It is the production of crops without irrigation in zones where yearly precipitation is less than 750 mm. Trim failures are more frequent beneath dry cultivating conditions owing to prolonged dry spells amid the trim periods. The growing season is less than 200 days. It is generally practiced in parched districts of the country.
2) Dryland cultivating
Cultivation of crops in zones receiving precipitation over 750 mm is known as dryland farming. Dry spell amid trim length happens, but trim failures are less frequent. Semi-arid locales are included beneath this category.
3) Rainfed cultivating
It is the practice of crop cultivation without a water system in regions accepting 1150 mm rainfall, generally in sub-humid and muggy ranges. Here chances of trim failure and water stretch are exceptionally less.
Distribution of Drylands
Our nation has prolific cultivable land and gets the most elevated precipitation on per unit zone premise anywhere within the world due to short term of precipitation in a year. One hundred and twenty-eight locales in India have been recognized as dryland cultivating zones. Of these, 91 districts are spread within the states of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu, speaking to typical dry cultivating tracts. The rest of the areas has a place to Central Rajasthan, Saurashtra locale of Gujarat, and rain shadow locale of the Western Ghats.
India has almost 108 million hectares of the rainfed zone which constitutes about 75% of the entire 143 million hectares of arable land. In such areas trim production gets to be moderately troublesome because it basically depends upon escalated and recurrence of precipitation. The crop production, subsequently, in such regions is called rainfed cultivating as there’s no facility to provide any water system, and indeed defensive or life-sparing water system isn’t possible. Major dry cultivating crops are millets such as jawar, bajra, ragi, oilseeds like mustard, rapeseed, and pulse crops like pigeon pea, gram, and lentil. Nearly 80% of maize and Jwar, 90 percent of Bajraand roughly 95% of pulses, and 75% of oilseeds are gotten from dryland agribusiness. In expansion to these, 70% of cotton is delivered through dryland horticulture. Dryland regions too contribute altogether to wheat and rice generation. Thirty-three percent of wheat and 66% of rice are still rainfed.
Prospects of Dryland Farming
1) More than 75% of the laborers involved in dry cultivating are small and marginal. Subsequently, advancement in dry cultivating would raise the financial status of agriculturists in this way making a difference in poverty end.
2) Dryland cultivating holds colossal importance particularly within the setting of fluctuating nourishment grain generation and growing populace in our nation.
3) The greatest employer in our nation, the cotton plants are bolstered by crude cotton developed for the most part in dryland zones. Expanding production of cotton hence leads to extend in exports of cotton goods.
4) The extending import of oilseeds may be a cause of concern to the Indian nation. The advancement of the production of oilseeds in these districts will spare valuable foreign trade reserves. By upgrading the efficiency of crops like jawar, bajra, and ragi which are basically developed in dryland cultivating would increment the supplement utilization levels of our country.
5) Marginal lands within the semi-arid districts offer the potential for fodder generation to bolster the cattle populace which is an indispensable component of the farming practice of this locale.
6) Giving significance to these areas can unravel the issues of pulses, oilseeds, and cotton. The dryland ranges have too huge possibility of expanded food grain production. In this way, upgraded agrarian production in these ranges would boost the agribusiness dependent economy of India. In addition, it would moreover be accommodating in disposing of the issue of starvation and malnutrition prevailed in below poverty line society of the nation.
Constraints of Dryland Farming
1) In dryland ranges in common, the precipitation is low and profoundly variable which results in uncertain trim yields. The distribution of precipitation amid the trim period is uneven, receiving a high sum of rain when it isn’t required and lack of it when crops require it.
2) Generally, in dryland ranges when the storm sets in late, the sowing of crops is deferred resulting in poor yields. At times, the downpours may desist exceptionally early in season uncovering the crop to dry season and amid blossoming and development stages which diminishes the trim yields significantly.
3) Soils of the drylands are not only dry but too lack in macronutrients like nitrogen and phosphorous.
4) The temperature in the dryland changes significantly. Amid the period of dampness stress and dry season, the temperatures accelerate the trim development resulting in constrained maturity. Chilling or ice damage at blossoming results in a destitute grain setting and deteriorates the grain quality.
Dryland Farming Technology
1) Convenient preliminary and seeding operations including preservation of stored soil moisture.
2) Conjunctive utilize of precipitation, surface, and groundwater. The practice of drip water system to spare water.
3) The lining of canals to minimize water loss.
4) Agronomic practices like mixed cropping and crop rotation which increase the yield of crops ought to be practiced.
5) Alley cropping, pasture management, tree cultivating, Silvi-pastoral management frameworks, and agro-horticultural system which are more important to dryland circumstances need to be embraced for effective dryland cultivating framework.
Dryland zones constituting more than two-thirds of total arable lands in India are the chief contributor of pulses, oilseeds, coarse grain crops, and cotton. Drylands too contribute essentially to wheat and rice generation. Hence, it is the need of the hour to receive and practice the available dryland innovation to the most extreme degree for the upgrade of agrarian production in these regions which would not only boost the nourishment grain generation of the nation but would too improve the financial status of agriculturists in these areas.